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What you need to know before installing Windows 10

Windows 10 is just a few days away now, and if you're excited to get your hands on it, you might want to read through these lines first.

Microsoft promises Windows 10 will be the best Windows experience yet, combining the best from 7 and the 8.1 to bring the ultimate Win OS. However, it would be less than ideal to first buy and install the operating system only to realise your computer can’t really support it, and many hardware components aren’t working at all.

That’s why you should first cross check your computer with the Windows 10 system requirements:

You’ll need a PC with at least:

  • Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
  • 1GHz processor
  • 1GB memory for Windows 10 32-bit ; 2GB for 64-bit
  • 16GB free hard disk space for Windows 10 32-bit; or 20GB for 64-bit
  • DirectX 9 (or later) compatible graphics card
  • 800 x 600 resolution monitor

So if you’re running Windows 7 or 8.1 with no trouble, Windows 10 should be the same. Just bear in mind that not even Windows 7 will run that well with this minimum specification.

Incompatible software

Windows 10 won’t be compatible with all existing hardware and software right from the start. Which means some things (for example the camera) might not work from day one and you might need to wait for the manufacturer to release a driver.

Same goes for software, which could prove to be a much bigger issue, especially if you need your (now) incompatible software for work.

Windows 10 will remove any incompatible software as part of its installation, but it will warn you before doing so. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, so you might as well check out up front.

The only way to run such a check is to via Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 app GWX.

You should see a notification in the Taskbar Notification Area if the GWX app is installed, else launch Windows Update and with Windows 7, look in the Optional updates section for update #KB3015583 in the Windows 7 section. Windows 8.1 users will find it as a Recommended update.

After the install, you’ll get the Get Windows 10 icon. Click the icon and, when the window opens, select Check your PC from the menu at the top left of the screen.

The major changes

Windows 10 did go back to the old Desktop + Start Menu look, but the tablet interface is still there. It’s now called ‘Continuum’ and will boot automatically when the OS recognizes a keyboard was unplugged from a touch-screen device. It can still be activated manually via the Action Centre.

You will also lose some features, including the Media Centre, Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets, Solitaire, Minesweeper and Hearts games, as well as DVD playback.